James and Lily emerged hand-in-hand into the Great Hall that morning amidst whispers. Though their relationship had been revealed weeks ago, it was the first time the school had actually seen the two acknowledge the romance. The discreet talk erupted even louder as they sat down next to Sirius.
"I thought they would've been tired of gossiping about us by now," Lily sighed, blushing slightly. If there was anything she could take back, it would be her reputation and the respect she had once had.
"Nah," answered Sirius, scooping a spoonful of scrambled eggs onto his plate. "You're infamous now!"
Lily gave a soft laugh and shook her head. Infamous.
The three students -friends- finished breakfast under the scrutiny of their classmates. It was an odd feeling to be so closely watched while eating. Luckily, being the last day before their N.E.W.T's, there were no classes in order to give the seventh years time to study, and so Sirius, James, and Lily were able to retreat to the Gryffindor common room peacefully.
The next two weeks passed in a blur of complicated wand movements, horrifyingly difficult theories, and the agony of trying to remember minute details from the first year.
"I just knew I forgot to put in something about the Vanishing Spell on that last question," bemoaned Lily as they left the testing area. "It was that damn flick at the end!"
James rolled his eyes. They had just finished their last test. It had been the practical Transfiguration exam and he felt he had gained an Excellent at the very least.
Sirius trotted smoothly towards them. "I really feel I aced that Animagus question. Don't you, James?" He gave a loud laugh and winked at a pretty Ravenclaw girl passing by.
"Quiet, you prat," James replied.
"Oh," Sirius hitched his bag onto his shoulder, "very nice." He gave them a small smile and hurried up the stairs after the girl.
The next day, Lily was in the Library returning some books she had borrowed for last minute studying. As she put her hand on the door to leave, it was pulled open and she fell crashing into Colleen.
They stared at each other for a moment, neither having said a word to the other since the entire James-Lily-Sirius scandal.
Colleen shifted on her feet, "Um, hi."
"Oh, yes, hello," Lily answered awkwardly, gazing at her shoes as though they would tell her what to say. "How are you?"
The blonde girl opened her mouth but was silent for a second. "I'm…I'm sorry that I've been so horrible to you."
Lily shook her fiery head. "No, don't be. Please, let's just forget it."
Colleen nodded quietly and led Lily to a table in the Library. "I want to know about your family, then."
Lillian seemed to be looking inward, gathering her thoughts, steeling herself. "It's not actually that horrible, you know. That's why I don't mention it. Everything was perfect until my mum died…she was so pleased that I was a witch and I think that was contagious to my father. But after that Christmas, she was gone and so was his happiness with my talent. Maybe he thought I should have saved her. He detested the whole magic thing and he egged Petunia on to ridicule me. All I hear at home is how I'm an ungrateful wench with a hideous unnaturalness," she glanced at her hands and gave a weary sigh. "Petunia used to be my best friend when we were little. Now she just lets Dad push me around. She enjoys it. The childish name calling doesn't really bother me, I suppose. It's more the fact that I miss them… you know, the way they used to be."
Neither of the girls spoke, letting the silence fall comfortably around them. After a couple of minutes, Colleen rose and put her arms around Lily. "Thank you for telling me." She gave a small squeeze and retreated from the Library.
Lily sat still, relishing the feeling of tranquility slowly coursing its way through her body. Telling her story to Colleen made it look a lot smaller. Giving the bookstand a tiny grin, she stood up left the Library.
All too soon, the seventh year class found themselves receiving graduation certificates and attending the final feast.
Clouds dotted the otherwise perfect summer sky as Lily stood on the train's loading dock, staring at the castle with a misty expression. Sirius walked over and stood next to her, following her gaze.
"I'm going to miss it here, I think," he drawled, squinting slightly in the light.
Lily gave him a sideways glance. "Yeah? Yeah, I will too." The Hogwarts Express gave its first warning sound. "I guess its goodbye forever, then." She turned to board the train when Sirius grabbed her arm.
He looked straight into her green eyes. "I am happy for you and James. You two will last, I can feel it." With a smile, he let go of Lily's arm and ushered her onto the train.
They found the compartment that Remus, James, Colleen, Peter, and Tina had secured. Settling down between her boyfriend and her best friend, Lily finally felt that something had gone right that year. She felt at home, and for the first time in a long time, she didn't regret a single thing.
xxx Epilogue xxx
Lily and James were married not even a year after they graduated Hogwarts. Living off a small fortune James had inherited from his parents' death against Voldemort, they became full-time activists in the Order of the Phoenix. They fought numerous times against the Death Eaters and personally faced the Dark Lord himself no less than three times during their membership.
Within that time, Lily became pregnant and gave birth to the famous Harry Potter who was destined to conquer Voldemort. Tragically, his destiny was Lily and James's death. They were well loved and respected by much of the wizarding world for their efforts against Voldemort and his band of Death Eaters.
Sirius took a career in the Ministry after graduation before realizing that office jobs just weren't that much fun. After quitting, he followed in James and Lily's footsteps and became an active member in the Order, recruiting members and fighting Death Eaters, though he never actually fought their leader.
During all of this, he started dating Tina. About a year into their relationship, Tina discovered that she was unexpectedly pregnant. Thrilled that Tina and Lily would be having children at the same time, Sirius proposed to her and they decided to name the baby Grayson as a play on their surnames. Unfortunately, when Tina was only four months along, she was sent on a mission for the Order and she and the unborn child were killed. It was extremely hard for Sirius, and he put all of his grief into his effort for the Order. He was delighted to be named godfather of Harry.
Colleen was killed in the same mission as Tina. It was unusual for her to even be fighting, because she was only a spy of the Order working in the Ministry. Her death was the cause of Lily's second escape from Voldemort. Lily, deeply saddened by the death of her two best friends, went after him herself and it was only a miracle, her amazing Charm work, and James that saved her.
When Harry was born, Voldemort was at the height of his power, and it was at this time that Peter joined the Death Eaters and started his work passing valuable information about the Order. He gave his new leader information that lead to the death of many people, including course, Lily and James Potter.
Finally I am finished. I feel extremely guilty for waiting since November to update and then giving you this crap for a chapter…ah well, at least you have a conclusion. The epilogue is simply a very improbable future for Lily, James and the crew which ties in my special characters! Yay!
Anyway, I'm well aware that I've most likely lost any fan base that I'd built up but I'm going to thank those people who reviewed my previous chapter and ask anyone who does happen to read this one to review review review! Help me reach 200!
Kyra4- Thank you for being my beta throughout this story! I really appreciated it. I learned a lot from you and your support has been incredible, thank you!
naughty or nice
Mistress del Mare